Alison Isadora (1962, New Zealander)

Alison Isadora, established in the Netherlands since 1986, was the fiddler of the Maarten Altena Ensemble in 1995 when they recorded Working on Timeon NM Classics 92063 – a great CD, containing works that all elaborate, in a manner or another, on works of the past. It’s a recent past that Isadora elaborated upon in her own composition there: the song America is Waiting from Brian Eno and David Byrne’s ground-breaking 1981 album My Life in the Bush of Ghosts. I don’t know that I had ever heard the song and album or if I had, decades ago, I forgot about it. For the sake of reviewing the NM Classics CD I listened to it on YouTube. It reveals that Isadora’s arrangement is fabulous: she turns what was already powered at 500 volts into 50,000 volts, Byrne/Eno into Pantera, and the anonymous New York ranter into Cruella de Vil. Great piece! Who needs metal rock when you’ve got this?

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